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For cryin' out loud - Peter Hentges — LiveJournal

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September 18th, 2004


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04:34 am - For cryin' out loud
So, I recently learned (thanks to pegkerr's comment in sleigh's journal) of the Commonwealth of Virginia's recently enacted "Affirmation of Marriage Act." It states:
A civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage is prohibited. Any such civil union, partnership contract or other arrangement entered into by persons of the same sex in another state or jurisdiction shall be void in all respects in Virginia and any contractual rights created thereby shall be void and unenforceable.
Part of me wants to engage in wholesale contract fraud with people of the male gender in Virginia in order to point out the serious flaws of this law. I mean, come on, Virginia, this law seems to say that if I were to go on vacation to that state with a male friend (maybe even my brother) and get into an accident that left me unconscious, the health care power-of-attorney I set up with him for just that sort of occurrence would be worthless and he would be unable to instruct doctors as to my care.
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:joel_rosenberg
Date:September 18th, 2004 12:14 pm (UTC)
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Nah. No court will construe the health care power-of-attorney as being the target of that law, unless -- just barely possible -- that the power-of-attorney is written clumsily enough to establish that the domestic partnership/marriage of the people involved is a requirement.

It's still stupid, mind you, but a lot of the opposition to same-sex marriage is (as is a fair amount of the defense of it; see Andrew Sullivan's vain attempt to draw a distinction between gay marriages and multi-party marriages. Pretty clearly, by the same principles that should let gays marry, polyfolks should, too).

But the whole anti-gay marriage thing is a lost cause, in practice, if not in law.
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From:jbru
Date:September 18th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)
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The American Bar Association disagrees with you: http://www.abanet.org/journal/ereport/jy16nonmarry.html, I, certainly, am NAL, but they are.
From:joel_rosenberg
Date:September 18th, 2004 12:56 pm (UTC)
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Sure, but looking at the URL, I find:

"Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore has said in statements that the law will not be used to void contracts such as business partnership agreements, medical directives, joint bank accounts or similar agreements."

... and nothing that suggests that it would be used otherwise. Even the Lambda folks are taking the position that "it's not clear" and that people are being frightened, rather than that it would have the effects that you suggested.

I'm not saying that the law is sensible -- because I don't think it is; unlike Paul Wellstone, I was always opposed to the DOMA and similar silly laws -- but I don't think it means what you're worrying that it means, and I don't see any evidence in the article you cite that it does.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:September 18th, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC)
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The Virginia AG is, from my reading, about equivalent to the fellow who wrote the legislation in the first place.

From the link above, I read, "It is possible, [critics of the law] suggest, that the law could be interpreted to nullify a variety of contracts used by same-sex couples to create rights and benefits that otherwise would be denied to them because they aren’t married. Such agreements may include parenting and custody arrangements and advance medical directives."

I'm not saying its likely, I'm just saying that apart from being obnoxious legislation, it is also poorly crafted.

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